A PENSIONER who suffers from Parkinson’s will be doing a parachute jump later this month to raise awareness of the condition.
Frances Madden, 65, from Parteen, will be doing a jump in the Irish Parachute Club in Edenderry, Offaly, on Friday, October 30, to raise funds for the Mid-West branch of the Parkinson’s Association.
Frances was diagnosed with Parkinson’s nine years ago and has been living with its symptoms since, and while she says she is “lucky” that her case is mild, the condition is progressing slowly.
“I’ve always wanted to do it (a parachute jump), but I never got around to it. I hoped to do it when I was 60 but I wasn’t feeling as well then as I am now.
“I was sitting at home one evening and thought if I don’t do it now, I may never do it. And if I’m going to do it, it might as well benefit somebody,” she explained.
Speaking about her condition, Frances said: “I said before that I’m one of the lucky ones, because of my mild case. I decided early that I wasn’t going to let it hinder me. I kind of ignore it most of the time.”
Frances left Ireland at 21 and worked as a nanny in Switzerland for 18 months, before moving to Greece. She initially went for six months but ended up staying for nine years. There she worked as a nanny, and DJ’d on a cruise ship. After coming back to Ireland she managing a guest house for nine years, then left and spent nine years in Israel, where she worked mainly with pilgrims.
Over 9,000 people here are living with Parkinson’s today, according to recent studies. Funds raised from the jump will go the Parkinson’s Association Mid-West Branch, specifically set up to help those in the Mid-West region, serving Limerick and Clare.